at the hour designated, they learned that ‘6 A. M.’ with their new colonel meant six o'clock in the morning.
Another revelation came when they first faced him on parade, and their vociferous demands for a speech were met by the terse reply, ‘men, go to your quarters.’
thus, in various ways, they learned from day to day that they were in the hands of a man who understood the trade of war.
it was precisely because he was a master-workman at his trade that Grant
was able to make his personal qualities effective when opportunity was given him. He was limited by the imperfections of the instruments he had at hand and was subjected to criticism accordingly, as at Shiloh
, April 6, 1862, where his failure to protect his Camp is explained by a fear lest a display of apprehension might demoralize troops misled by the ignorant cry of ‘spades to the rear,’ which then filled the air. They would have regarded defensive measures as an evidence of weakness and cowardice, and confidence is an essential factor in the management of raw troops, of which both the armies were then composed.
They had at that time advanced but one stage beyond the condition of an armed mob, only partially responsive to the skilled handling of the educated and trained soldier.
previous to the battle of Pittsburg Landing
, as Shiloh
is also called, Grant
had given proof of his energy and his promptness in taking the initiative in the occupation of Paducah, Kentucky
, September 6, 1861; in the comparatively trifling affair at Belmont, Missouri
, November 7, 1861; and in his important success in the capture of Fort Donelson
on the Cumberland River, Tennessee
, in February, 1862, where he had the efficient assistance of the gunboats, under Flag-officer Foote
These successes increased his confidence in himself, as back came the echo of exultant popular approval when the country saw how capable this man was of accomplishing great results with troops lacking in arms, equipment, transportation, and supplies, as well as in organization, but who